Day 2, Hope must have woken up on the wrong side of the stall, and was somewhat uncooperative. However, she progressively got better in our warm up, so I was feeling confident for our test. However, the second we got into the ring, I just felt Hope go “Nope”. The first half of the test was terrible, I finally growled at Hope under my breath, and, surprisingly, she started to get better. Our score ended up being a sad 55%. I was genuinely annoyed at Hope, because she knew darn well what she was doing, but chose to do it anyway (horses!!). Our warm up for our second test was just terrible, I was seriously considering scratching from our test, she was just not listening to me and was barging through all my aids. I decided to do the test anyway, and resorted to begging Hope to behave herself. I distinctly remember saying “Please Hope, don’t do this to me. Not now!”. When we entered the competition ring, I finally had my Hope back, she tried for me (although wasn’t going to give any extra effort than needed). We managed to improve from our last score, getting 60%.
Day 3, hack class day, was lots of fun. Hope figured which side of the stall to wake up on this morning, and was very willing. We entered three classes, and my goal for the day (because it was my very first time doing hack classes with Hope), was for Hope not to bolt, but if she did decide to bolt, then my goal #2 was to not fall off. Our first hack class was great, she was perfect. Our second hack class went well, she’d gotten a little hot, but was still controllable. For the third hack class, Hope just managed to contain her desire to explode out from under me. When we finished the class the judge came up to us and said “And she’s the one who got a little hot.”, when I affirmed this she shook her finger at Hope’s nose, I don’t think Hope was too impressed.
All in all, the show was great fun, and I was, and still am, super proud of Hope for her effort in our first, second, and fourth (but not the third!) tests, and for managing to contain herself in the hack classes.
Our latest show was the biggest one we’ve gone to all year, huge classes with some very fancy competition. I am so very pleased with Hope, and with how much more consistent she’s getting. For asides from getting a little hot, she really was fantastic. We had senior judges (AKA harsher and more particular) for all of our tests, but we still got respectable scores in the low 60s%, with some placings that I am very proud of Hope for.
At last our 2016 show season is over, a bitter-sweet ending. We’ve accomplished so, so much this year, more than I honestly thought was possible. I’m eagerly looking forward to our winter training, and our 2017 competition season, hopefully moving up to fourth level. I fervently await what the following months, and year, will bring.